What do you do with a new car? Plan a road trip of course! What better way to test the four-wheel drive of a Jeep than in the hills of Vermont. Okay, so it wasn’t winter and I didn’t attempt many gravel roads, but who passes on a road trip?
I heard the best memories come from unexpected events. That was the case while traveling on I-89 towards St. Johnsbury. In the early morning hours, I passed the small town of Quechee. I saw a quaint village with an antique shop, and an old-fashioned diner; my vision of Heaven. I guesstimated my scheduled morning obligations would have me arriving back in Quechee by noon….PERFECT!!!
My 12:30 return to the Quechee Gorge Village found a crowded parking lot with hungry tourists. There were no vacant tables at the diner, so instead of waiting, took the suggestion of the friendly hostess and sat at a table on the patio. This disappointment turned into a treasure find, but isn’t that how the best things in life happen? While talking to the waitress’ dog- yes, a dog-friendly environment, wish more restaurants would be like this- the dog owner asked about my travels. I mentioned my collection of lunchboxes and how rare it is to find an antique store with any quality lunchboxes for a fair price. She mentioned the antique store at the village had lunchboxes. Check please!
Upon entering the antique mall, I was amazed at the eclectic collections the store had to offer. I saw old toys, trains, milk glass, vintage clothes, tools, fishing poles…but no lunchboxes. But wait, I was still on the first floor and only in the shop for approximately 90 minutes. That’s right, two floors of antiques filled from corner to corner with big & smalls. I kept my composure and positive thoughts about finding at least one lunch box…but I didn’t. I found a stairway of lunchboxes. I can’t remember the last time I smiled so wide!
The stairway of lunchboxes led to an upstairs of more lunchboxes. Did I mention most of these lunchboxes included the thermos? Yes, a collectors dream! I found two lunchboxes in excellent condition with a matching thermos. Although I wanted to buy more, my self-reminder of car payments starting in a month convinced me to limit my spending.
Although vacation means not worrying about time, I did have an hour ride back to the hotel, a full schedule the next day, and the weatherman predicting rain in the evening. So, I quickly took a photo of the train ride and carousel, visited the blacksmith shop and purchased an extra-large, warm from the oven, chocolate chip cookie from the bakery adjacent to the toy museum.
Quechee…what a great unexpected treasure in the hills of Vermont!